Why use Macabacus?

Three main features that we use most often (although there is plenty of other functionality in the tool as well).

  • Formatting shortcuts: Easy to configure and easy to cycle through for quick color formatting, font style, centering, borders and other key formatting needs
  • Step through a formula: Ability to easily trace precedents and dependents across tabs
  • Exporting to PowerPoint or Word: Keep all of your data easily refreshed through a simple click

We will walk through all of these below in further detail.

How do I install and setup Macabacus?

You will need to install the Macabacus plugin from the Macabacus website. You can do so either from their pricing page or try a 14-day free trial .

Once you have that installed, you can import our recommended Macabacus shortcut settings. To do so, go to our google drive folder here and download and save the file titled “MacabacusSettings-Recalc.xml” to your computer (do not open).   Once you have saved down the file, go to Excel > Macabacus > Settings > Import > Import from xml. Then select the file from wherever you saved it. Once that’s done, you’ll have uploaded our shortcuts and are ready to start saving tons of time in Excel!

See the video below for a walk through of how to install and setup Macabacus.

How do I view, edit and configure my keyboard shortcuts?

To view your existing keyboard shortcuts, go to Macabacus settings > keyboard shortcut manager. This will show us all of our shortcuts as they exist today. You’ll notice that every shortcut is a combination of control, alt, shift and another character. Not every shortcut uses all of those characters, but you can use any combination of those four. Whatever is shown in dark gray is what you’re using. If you ever want to change the key combination for a given shortcut, simply click or unclick any of the control, alt, shift, character elements for that shortcut. Macabacus will warn you if you’re trying to use a shortcut key combination that is already used elswewhere.

If you want to edit the specifics of what each shortcut does, you will need to go to Macabacus settings > configure . This view will show us all of the functionality and allows us to change it. You should not need to do this on a regular basis, but just useful to know in case you do need to change something. Please watch the video below for a complete walk through of how to configure such settings as color and number cycle.

What are the most useful shortcuts?

Below is a snapshot of our most commonly used shortcuts. Watch the video for a full explanation of what the shortcuts do and how best to use them.

Recalc shortcut keys Shortcut description
Ctrl Shift C Font color cycle (blue, green, purple, red, white, black)
Ctrl Shift V Fill cell color cycle (blue, gray, yellow, orange, dark blue, no fill)
Ctrl Shift G Dark blue with white bolded text
Ctrl Shift N Number cycles (accounting, month-year, full date, dollar sign number format)
Ctrl Shift P Percent number cycle
Ctrl Shift M Center alignment cycle (align center in a cell, center across selection)
Ctrl Shift U Underline cycle (regular underline, single accounting, double accounting)
Ctrl Shift F Centers across selection and single accounting underline (for headers)
Ctrl Shift H Centers across selection and single accounting underline in date format (for headers)
Ctrl Shift B Top border cycle (single line, dotted line)
Ctrl Shift 6 Toggle formatting
Ctrl Shift 7 Outer border

Tracing Precedents & Dependents

Tracing precedents lets you step through each piece of a formula in more detail, including across tabs.

Tracing dependents reviews all of the things that are dependent on this cell (all of the cells that this cell drives).

Watch the video below for a full explanation of tracing precedents & dependents.

Exporting to PowerPoint & Word

With the professional version of Macabacus, you can paste from Excel directly into PowerPoint or Word, with the ability to easily refresh your data on the click of a button.

Watch the video for a full explanation of how to successfully paste into PowerPoint & Word:

What if I have CapIQ and the shortcuts are overlapping?

If you have CapIQ, you should disable CapIQ quick keys. To do so, go to S&P Capital IQ > Customize > Settings. In the settings dialog box, click on “General” and check “Disable Capital IQ Quick Keys” and click OK. Restart Excel.


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